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The Civilians - Lush and Tumble (The Civilians)

Civilians-Lush and Tumble
10 February 2023

This Seattle five-piece’s first two albums, 2019’s Over the Bar and 2020’s Straight In/Straight Out, not only got significant local airplay and favorable press, they so wowed Elvis Costello’s Attractions and Imposters keyboardist Steve Nieve, he supplied alluring piano to this third LP’s soulful ballad “Harder Than the Truth.” But even before that third song, the album hooks you with its passionate, enlivening title track and more jaunty “Incoming.” Each is highlighted by the thick, crunchy guitars of Chris Livesay, Kam Gurol, and Doug Schwartz, and the forceful rhythms of Jerry Cohen and Jim Jeffreys. And while Livesay’s imposing, guttural vocals evoke Bruce Springsteen, signs of The Saints/Aints/Laughing Clowns’ Ed Kuepper, The Psychedelic Furs’ Richard Butler, and Leatherface’s Frankie Stubbs also proliferate on the bouncy “Ship to Shore,” anthemic “I Am This City,” and folky “Oh, Happy Day.” Like the indelible music discovery memories that are recounted in the closing “True North,” Lush and Tumble’s rock has a visceral quality that can stimulate emotions. (

“Harder Than the Truth”